Analyzing Desktop 3D Printer Trends: Bambu Lab, Prusa Research, Creality, Anycubic, and Elegoo

By on May 20th, 2024 in news, research

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Which desktop 3D printer companies are most popular? [Source: Google Trends]

Which desktop 3D printer companies are getting the most attention? I decided to find out.

It’s easy to see that some companies get a lot of buzz in the marketplace, particularly when new machines are announced. But just looking at, say, the number of posts in a forum isn’t the most accurate method. Instead I thought to use Google’s Trends analysis.

Google is the world’s leading search engine (at least for now), and they track the search terms people use on their system. They also offer the ability to search their records to observe trends in search term activity. Note, however, that they don’t actually show the exact number of searches, that’s proprietary data. Instead they show the relative amounts of searches, which is quite informative when comparing different search terms.

Bambu Lab trends [Source: Google Trends]

For example, here is the search trend for “Bambu Lab”, a company that did not exist until just recently. You can see there were basically no searches for “Bambu Lab” until some time after April 2022 when they burst upon the scene.

Prusa trends [Source: Google Trends]

Let’s look at their major rival, Prusa Research. That company has been around for many years, since 2011. As you can see, interest in Prusa Research has grown steadily over time.

Prusa and Bambu Lab trends [Source: Google Trends]

But how do the two compare? Let’s add in Bambu Lab and see what happens.

Aha, now we can see the very rapid growth in interest for Bambu Lab, and it shows how close the two are, at least in terms of search.

But what about the other major companies, like Creality, Anycubic, or Elegoo? Let’s add them in.

Prusa, Creality, Bambu Lab, Anycubic and Elegoo trends [Source: Google Trends]

We can see several interesting things in this chart. It seems that Prusa Research had the field to itself until 2016, when these other companies launched. At this point we see that Creality has taken the lead, far above both Prusa Research and Bambu Lab. The other two are not that far behind.

What’s interesting is that they all dip lower in recent months. Let’s zoom in on that area and see what’s happening.

Prusa, Creality, Bambu Lab, Anycubic and Elegoo trends [Source: Google Trends]

First, we can see that interest in ALL of the companies is higher than earlier, suggesting that more people are into 3D printing over time.

Then there’s weird coincident peaks for most of the companies at about the same time. It turns out that time period is — you guessed it — Black Friday and the holiday shopping periods. Evidently many people buy desktop 3D printers at those times of the year.

It’s also interesting that these dramatic peaks were not so present in previous years, suggesting that it was only in the past year that big holiday sales were a thing for 3D printing.

Something else is interesting in this last chart. Creality (yellow line) and Anycubic (red line)seem to be about flat after the holiday period. However, all the other companies are taking a downward trend, indicating fewer searches.

Prusa Research seems to have the highest slope downward, which doesn’t look promising.

However, these can all change dramatically. It would take only a new announcement of a fantastic product to change the interest, and that’s what I’m hoping to see.

Via Google Trends

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!